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Chinese nuclear sector set to get further boost

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Technicians install equipment at Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province last year. LIN SHANCHUAN/XINHUA/CHINA DAILY

Chinese nuclear sector set to get further boost

CHINA is stepping up construction in the nuclear sector with all the main equipment being installed at the world’s first demonstration nuclear power project using Hualong One technology in Fujian province, a domestically developed third-generation reactor design.

Installation of the third main reactor coolant pump at Fuqing unit 5 of China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) Fuqing nuclear power plant, China’s first demonstration nuclear power project using Hualong One technology, took place earlier and all the main equipment of unit 5 is also in place, according to CNNC, the state-owned nuclear power company.

Hualong One chief designer Xing Ji said earlier that construction of the world’s first demonstration nuclear power project using Hualong One technology is proceeding as expected, and construction of unit 5 of the Fuqing nuclear plant is expected to be completed next year.

CNNC has four nuclear units under construction using Hualong One technology domestically and overseas, including two units at Fujian province’s Fuqing city and two units at Pakistan’s Karachi nuclear power plant.

The company also recently released its domestically developed high-safety nuclear power plant distributed control system platform, which is also known as the “central nervous system” of nuclear power plants that ensure nuclear projects’ safety and stability and enables China to have a distributed control system with completely independent intellectual property rights.

Some of the key standards for the distributed control system are in accordance with the international level and the platform will also help boost China’s nuclear technology exports, it said.

Analysts believe this year will be a key one for China’s nuclear power sector, and decades of science and technology investment will make China a world leader in the category.

“There should be no question that China will sharply increase its nuclear power capacity in the next three decades. The only question is timing,” said Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst of Asian utilities at Bloomberg Intelligence.

“The development of the new generation reactors is the key. This will take time as extensive testing needs to be done and also if there are any minor issues, the construction of the units would be temporarily suspended which will lengthen the construction process.”

But once a few new generation reactors are commissioned then the pace of development should accelerate and China’s plan to have its nuclear power capacity to reach as much as 150GW in total by 2030 as part of Beijing’s push to boost clean energy consumption is perfectly achievable, he added. CHINA DAILY/ANN

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